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July 23, 2015 - Day 4: All Tethered Up And Nowhere To Go.

Posted by admin-robotlord on July 23, 2015

Today, I woke up to Alvin, Mike, and Veselin passed out on their beds as they were the ones to stay up until 2:30 AM working on the robot last night. The rest of us probably fell asleep around midnight because we didn't have much to do on the robot since it basically had electrical and software problems at this point.

After we woke up, Alvin drove Michael, Mikey, Jamie and I to the TRANSDEC for 8:00am while Mike and Veselin slept in due to their late night last night. Once we got to the TRANSDEC, all we had to do was hold down the tent while we waited for Mike and Veselin to come. Four hours later, they finally came bearing McDonald's food for us to eat. Thank goodness! As they started working on AquaUrsa, they decided to split the responsibilities of the main board into two by adding another computer. This was to make one computer just for vision on the robot, and the other computer for everything else because the one computer kept overloading and overheating. Then everyone decided to go for lunch at the lunch trucks up the hill from the pool.

After eating some food, Mike and Veselin realized that the SubConn for the tether had a short-circuit, so we had two options: buy a new tether from a sponsorship company who offered to sell us a new one quickly, or we could try to fix it! So, we decided to move our test time from 3:15 to 5:15, and tried to fix the tether cord as soon as possible. Mike stripped a section of the thther cord, cut some of it off, and reattached everything to eliminate the short circuit. It still wasn't working perfectly, so hopefully we were ready for our practice test in the pool at 5:15! After some soldering and programming, it was finally time for the practice test.

We carried AquaUrsa to the pool, attached her to the hook, and let her get lowered into the TRANSDEC pool. Since the tether was temporary fixed, AquaUrsa was being a bit temperamental. Also, there was a unexpected slight problem with the kill switch so the only thing AquaUrsa could do during the practice was go through the gate and attempt to hit the buoys. Sadly, it missed the buoys and just kept on being temperamental, so 15 minutes later we took her out and decided to pack up.

There had to be representatives from every team to stay until 6:30 to pick semifinal times for tomorrow. Since it was only 5:45, Alvin decided to drive Jamie, Michael, Mikey and I back to the hotel quickly because we all wouldn't fit into the van all at once after the meeting at 6:30. Upon arrival at the hotel, Jamie and I immediately changed and jumped into the pool to swim and cool down from the extreme heat of San Diego. While swimming, we met two of the judges for RoboSub and talked for a little bit. It was really cool to learn their perspectives on the competition and the origins of RoboSub back in the late 90's. After losing track of time, the team came back with dinner from Chick-Fil-A and we ate some delicious burgers and watched some TV. Mike, Veselin and Alvin immediately went back to work on the robot and a couple of hours later we decided to work on our static judging presentation since it is tomorrow morning at 7:55. Later tomorrow at 1:00 in the afternoon, we have our test for semi-finals scheduled as well! Excitement is in the air as tomorrow is definitely going to be an interestingly, action-packed day! Alvin said we should be ready for semifinals by 1:00 tomorrow, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Tonight we were able to get a spot in the pool for some night testing, so that went well! Our main goal was to just test vision and it worked!  Wish us luck and see you tomorrow for semifinals!

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